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Friday, October 16, 2009


I've been reading your posts and many reactions to this chapter are intense! Thank you for so honestly and vividly sharing the struggles, anger, breakthroughs and frustrations you're having. First and foremost, remember that this whole process is meant to be helpful. Martha doesn't have the one right road to joy. You have your own special designed-by-and-for-you road and if these exercises and explorations help you along the way - amazing. If not, tweak them, change them, create new ones or simply say no and know that you have gotten clear on what you are not willing to do, and that's great information. This is your journey.

How about we have a fresh take on creativity?

Brilliant, creative beauties, how can creativity serve you and your dreams?

If you're still struggling to connect to your desires, how can creativity help you uncover what they are? Is it time to make a vision board? Or maybe to do some writing? How about finishing the sentence "What I really want is..." 25 times - no censoring, just letting the pen fly. What about taking photos of moments that evoke your desire? Let creativity help you discover your desire. Getting to know your self and your heart is a beautiful process. Take your time.

And if you know what your desire or desires are, how can creativity bring you closer? What if you brainstormed 50 ideas for making that dream come true? What if you spent a day acting as if it were already true? What if you created a treasure map of the imagined route to your desires? What if you imagined yourself a journalist and asked everyone you talked to, "Hey, if you wanted to be a writer, what's the first thing you would do?"

I know we're working on Risk this week, but I absolutely invite you to try a new exercise, one you adore or that sounds intriguing, and post again for Creativity. We have room :) And if Risk offers the same struggles and reactions, feel free to simply answer the question:

What risk, big or small, will I take this week in support of my desires?

That's it. This is the joy of working through a book this way; we can step off the page and make it our own. I hope this is helpful. If anyone has any questions or wants to talk to me directly about their reactions, please drop me a line at jamie(at)openthedoor(dot)ca.


  1. Jamie -- You do a wonderful job of encouraging people through challenges. Your ideas are all so great that I made a list and may try some of them out. I know I do a pretty good job myself of finding creative alternatives, but I love a good idea and sharing it! Risks will be a good week, for I'm ready to step out a little further and push. I've been taking risks in the last five years, and know the benefits. You know once you take the risk, the fears leading up to it just disappear. I'll try to remember this during this week of risk taking.


    I really enjoyed reading some of the fueled discussions of the enemy piece... so unexpected in a chapter on CREATIVITY and I must have really blocked it because I had totally forgotten to mention it! lol... so funny. This is great stuff, Jamie... what a treat! You are such fun to play with.

  3. Thanks for the alternative suggestions. I think for me the book has some golden nuggets as I believe Kathryn said and those are what I will focus on, like anything you try you take what works for you and what doesn't you leave alone. Thanks for the support and encouragement.

  4. Jamie, thanks for these suggestions. I am sure that they will help.

    And, thanks very much for hosting this blog on The Joy Diet.

    I am not sure of the next chapter. Risk. That is why I am where I am - staying in my job, not going through the doors, not really growing. But I am looking forward to trying to take the Risk - REALLY take a risk and applying it to my life.

    Thanks again.

  5. What I have learned through life is that not every self help book is the right self help book for everyone. Not every pyschological theory is the right one for every person. We have to test and read and know ourselves and when it feels "right" we know it.

  6. right on, jamie! and thank you to the others who commented honestly as well. i just sat down to draft my "creativity" entry for the past week and found myself writing about what you just said: SO TRUE that we need to learn to adapt what's in front of us to our unique situation and experience. right on.

  7. I'm so happy you posted this! I started 'doing' the book but wasn't attracted to the chapters in the order they are in, so I dropped it altogether, which really isn't serving me!! I'd love to start playing again and doing dream boards or anything with my hands is interesting to me right is my desire!

  8. hi there, I haven't really been posting additionally here but I wanted to agree with Amy! LOVE THE STRUGGLE! ;) It's never easy but remember we are each 'butterfly beauties' in the making! So often we think we want something but we aren't willing to get it. It takes a lot of soul searching and practice work and courage to go for it! sherry lee, I can respect that you really don't enjoy the book, but i think to keep reinforcing how much you don't, its possible you are missing out on something key that might be stopping you from the best 'on the edge' adventure just for you! ;) I encourage you to reconsider. Whatever doesn't resonate, just let it go.. Be willing to change the process to suit your needs, but really there is a lot of good stuff in there, even when a style is different. Last of all - thank you Jamie for choosing a book of depth! It would be easy for you to host an easy book, but I know that you are a catalyst, and an encourager and so your hosting skills and your counseling/coach skills are perfect for this study! I hope that you'll never second guess what this book is doing for many of us! ;) Blessings, Sharmila
    p.s. for other readers interested: I agree this book is quite deep but I find it most helpful when I read through a chapter within a few days, underline, process it in my mind and make a vision card if it flows, if not - no biggie.. then by the time i am to post something often my thoughts have cultivated more on the subject and take on a new meaning.. so i will add the vision card and whatever i really feel. the parts I don't resonate with, they just slip on through. I find in this way I am remaining true to myself. ;) hope this might help..

  9. I also think, this a real deep journey and there are real good ideas in that book. But what I feel most now, between creativity and risk that it all goes too fast. I really have to digest what I have worked on so far. Taking another chapter in this week, feels kind of strange. But if I work slow, I'm out of this thing and that's the problem I have now.

  10. Hi Jaime,
    What wonderful encouraging words. I have a dreamboard session scheduled with the girlfriends next sunday. I've found that I've had take from the book what suits me and my style of discovery. thanks for your great support.

  11. I just wanted to share that I don't think anyone is out of the loop if they choose to go slower and honor their own pace. There is a lot of juice in this book, and just like a huge meal, there are bound to be leftovers~ afterall, you can't expect to stuff it all in and digest it all at once. I think even if we're all on different parts of the journey, different chapters, etc., there is still such richness and depth to this group, and I think we'd still have plenty to share. So if you feel the need to start over, start over... or if you feel the need to stew in a certain chapter, go for it. I think you'll still have experiences that we're interested in hearing about (although I suppose I can only speak for myself~ I would love to hear more about your adventures in past chapters!)... hugs everyone!

  12. Jamie, I adore how you reframed the above questions...they are very rich questions to reflect a more creatively alluring and positive spin. I wonder why it is so drilled into us that the creative journey has to be rife with struggle and hardship? Sure, there are moments of frustration, overwhelm, or I'm not good enough. However, it is equally important to remember that there is also joy in the journey if we choose to let it in. I think this chapter has been a great opportunity to check-in with ourselves with what does resonate with our deepest knowing and to remain true to what best serves us while also stretching us to new creative vistas.

  13. Jamie - thank you so much for giving us another angle on Chapter 4 - I am going to post this week on creativity using some of your ideas above.
    Also I just wanted to mention, with a little hesitation however, that just the mere fact that so many people had adverse effects from that chapter SHOWS that the chapter is working. I know it is very hard and for someone who has been struggling with creativity all my life I too am tired of facing these demons but you know what - maybe we have to. I think by now in my life I know what I need to do, But every once in a while I need a remindner to get off my butt. And for me whatever line, word, or idea from a book or coach, or writer helps me to get there is okay by me.
    Thank you Jamie - I love playing with you too!

  14. I am still trying to FIND and promote Joy in my life. I think this "RISK" chapter has hit a nerve. Read my blog post for details.

  15. I'm finding that I can pick and choose the little gems out of each chapter and focus on that. I think I do need some time to absorb these topics...I'm powering through and will see what comes of it.

    I'm catching up on posts for The Joy Diet. Feel free to stop by. :)


I'm so glad we're sharing the Joy Journey! Here's to amping up our joy!